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SkyTrain delays good time to support the economy: TransLink

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – TransLink is trying to turn a negative into a positive.

It says lengthy SkyTrain shutdowns are a good way for passengers to spend money throughout the Lower Mainland.

“Maybe it’s a good opportunity to stop and have a coffee or a bite to eat, support the local economy until trains resume again,” says TransLink’s Cheryl Ziola.

When News1130 asked if customers should expect long delays Ziola said absolutely. “Delays are very common place on any major transit system.”

On Tuesday, passengers were delayed for hours because of a modem problem and that’s the fourth shutdown in just three months. Many have raised questions about contingency planning.

“People very commonly throw out the notion of a backup system but when you look at that…are we talking about a completely redundant train system? If we’re talking about that you’re looking at billions of dollars in infrastructure costs.”

Ziola says 95 per cent of the time the system is reliable and she understands that people are frustrated but they can’t control some things.

Nathan Woods with the Bus Driver’s Union feels that was “not a well thought-out statement.”

He says if you look at the overall picture, the fourth SkyTrain breakdown of the year is a major inconvenience to people.

“Having a cavalier attitude toward it isn’t creating a favourable impression toward TransLink,” Woods says.

Response to Ziola’s comments on Twitter has been explosive with most people in shock.